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How Coast Pet Distributors got creative to reduce costs and carbon

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Learn more about how small business owner, Hayden Epstein and Warehouse Operations Manager, Jared Williams use recycling to make the return trip worth it.

Coast Pet Distributors is a small, family business that specializes in providing the highest quality pet foods and products to retailers in seven states. 

Late in 2012 we started shipping a new food line that had to be kept at refrigerated temperatures. We researched the most effective way to deliver product to our customers and insulated shipping boxes seemed to be a great fit. But each insulated box and gel pack cost us about $52.00 – a lot of money for packaging that was thrown away after one trip. So why not ask customers to hang on to the boxes and find a way to get them shipped back to us?

We teamed up with FedEx to take advantage of their prepaid return labels to do exactly that. Now customers simply hand the boxes back to FedEx when they’re done stocking the product. In just a few months, most of our customers are now helping to recycle the packaging, helping us in turn reduce our footprint and our costs.

Now we’re ordering new packaging every six weeks instead of every two, cutting costs for the boxes by 68%. Ideally, if we had almost all boxes returned, we’d only have to order new boxes minimally as required. If that were a pallet every three to four months, it would put our cost at around $4,000 a year.

Customers have been excited to be able to help improve our environment by teaming up with Coast Pet. We hope to see other companies and customers take similar steps so that we can all help contribute towards a better planet. Coast Pet looks forward to continuing this program and expanding these ideals wherever we can.  

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